Practical to replace internal hard drive with a larger one?

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My Windows computer has a 1 TB internal hard drive that has only about 30 GB free. I could easily move 100 GB of rarely if ever used files to an external drive, which would give me a total of 130 GB free space. Even so, I need to at least begin thinking of using an internal hard drive with larger storage capacity in the next year or two. All of the other resources on the computer meet my needs, so I would rather not replace the computer if I could instead replace just the internal hard drive. Is that practical? What information would you need me to provide about that?
 
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My Windows computer has a 1 TB hard drive that has only about 30 GB free. I could easily move 100 GB of rarely if ever used files to an external drive, which would give me a total of 130 GB free space. Even so, I need to at least begin thinking of using an internal hard drive with larger storage capacity in the next year or two. All of the other resources on the computer meet my needs, so I would rather not replace the computer if I could instead replace just the internal hard drive. Is that practical? What information would you need me to provide about that?
Yes, it’s easy to do. Western digital make the best drives imo. What interface do have for your existing drive?
 

Growltiger

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It could hardly be simpler. I recently swapped an old 4TB drive for an 8TB drive. It took about five minutes. You unplug the power cable and the SATA data cable, and connect them to the new drive. But we do need to know what the current drive is to find what interface it has, just in case you have a antique, i.e. something that came before SATA became universal.

But what is the spec of the machine. If it is old you might be better off taking the opportunity to buy a new one.
Tell us its CPU and memory and graphics.
 
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If you are running Windows 7 it might be better and cheaper to limit your disk size to 2 TB.
Win 7 has a 2 TB limit.
I bought a 4 TB drive to replace my 1 TB drive only to find out about the 2 TB limit.
I have an extra 2 TB that is unused due to the limit.
I believe there is a way to utilize a partition program to gain access to the extra space.
I really haven't needed the extra space and I'm not that familiar with partition programs.
 

Growltiger

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Another idea. If this is a desktop why not add a second drive and keep the current one. You would move all your own data to the second drive. This would reduce the risk of you having serious problems, since you wouldn't be touching the system drive.
 
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Oh, oh----- time for the Café Drinking Team to emerge--Mike is getting his tinkering hat on :eek::whistle::happy:
Don't think for a nanosecond that I didn't think about exactly that!

Thank you, everyone! To answer your questions:

Dell Desktop
Windows 10 (so the limit Dave mentioned about Windows 7 isn't a concern)
Type of internal disk drive: The only thing I could find is ST1000DM003-1ER162. If that's insufficient, please tell me how to find the information you need.
CPU: Intel i7-6700 @ 3.40 GHz 3.41Ghz
RAM: 24 GB
Graphics Card: NVidia but I can't find the exact model. I seem to remember that it might have 1GB onboard RAM but I'm not sure.

If this is a desktop why not add a second drive and keep the current one. You would move all your own data to the second drive.
That sounds fine to me if it works well. Is it likely that there is room inside the desktop for another drive or would this be an external drive? I ask because I thought external drives are typically slower.
 
Is this 1 TB internal drive a hard drive (HDD) or a Solid State Drive (SSD)? The latter is much, much faster and if you're going to be tinkering around with the innards of the machine anyway, might as well go with an SSD. They come in 1 TB and 2 TB capacities, and I think larger as well for internal SSDs. As suggested, if you've got space inside the machine you could simply ADD a second drive rather than replacing the one that is in there now. There should be space, as SSDs are significantly smaller than platter HDDs.

In answer to the question about whether or not external drives are slower than internal drives.... SSDs are fast, much faster than any internal HDD. The USB-driven ones such as Samsung's T5 are nearly as fast as my internal SSD, and Samsung's X5 NVME Thunderbolt 3 SSD is as fast, or darned close to it. External HDDs tend to be slow, yes, usually only 5400 rpm, although occasionally one will find a drive at 7200 rpm. Now manufacturers seem to be using a new strategy which results in even the HDDs are faster than they were in the past.

Back in 2015 when I bought a 15" MacBook Pro, which is not user-configurable/updateable, I was moving to it from an iMac with a 1 TB HDD, while the MBP has 512 GB SSD. I had to do some major paring-down, needless to say, when setting up the new machine! I realized at that time that I was going to need to provide room for growth, too, although I already was using external HDD for standard backups. It was right about then that Samsung came out with their T1, an external SSD which was the answer for me. Since then I have continued to use external SSDs to supplement what is on the internal SSD, even though I now do have a new machine with 1 TB SSD. This system has worked out well for me. Anything that I don't need to keep on the machine -- that is, any photo files that have been completed and are not in some stage of the culling or editing process are shifted over to a T5 and it only takes a minute to plug in the device when I need to retrieve or access a particular image. I also do the same with documents, videos and individual music files that are not in iTunes. This leaves plenty of breathing space on my computers and yet anything I need is still quickly accessible. Anything which I know I'm really truly finished with the eventually winds up in the older HDD archival drives. Everything is backed up regularly, too.

Just some food for thought.....
 
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Another idea. If this is a desktop why not add a second drive and keep the current one. You would move all your own data to the second drive. This would reduce the risk of you having serious problems, since you wouldn't be touching the system drive.
This is the easiest solution. No need to clone your current drive. Just use your new, large drive for all of your additional storage needs.
 

Growltiger

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Thats's a good machine, well worth keeping. The drives are SATA, no problems there.

Open the computer, find the existing drive, and see if you can spot where a second drive fits. See if there is already a power cable and data cable for it. The existing data cable may have an extra connector for the new drive.

Don't try to do too much at once. Add the new second drive. I suggest a WD Black. Make that work.

Only after that success should you contemplate buying an SSD to replace the system drive.

In other words only open one can of worms at a time.
 
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Does Windows 10 offer the "Windows Experience" feature?
Mine dropped significantly when my graphics card failed and I had to replace it.
I guess my card that came with the unit was better and faster.
If you do have this feature might be a good idea to run it before and after whichever avenue you decide to take. Sounds like you have a very good machine Mike. The Pinot Grigio is great by by the way. Glad to help with the effort. WD Black is a very good drive. That's what I bought based on Richard's advice.
 
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Thats's a good machine, well worth keeping. The drives are SATA, no problems there.

Open the computer, find the existing drive, and see if you can spot where a second drive fits. See if there is already a power cable and data cable for it. The existing data cable may have an extra connector for the new drive.

Don't try to do too much at once. Add the new second drive. I suggest a WD Black. Make that work.

Only after that success should you contemplate buying an SSD to replace the system drive.

In other words only open one can of worms at a time.
Richard,
Please correct me if I'm wrong.
If Mike were to install an SSD and place his current drive as a secondary drive without deleting anything the SSD would be the boot drive and if something went wrong the original drive is still in tact and can be used as the primary drive if need be.
 
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Continued thanks to everyone!

The current internal drive is HDD. (I couldn't recall that designation on my own but recognize it now that you folks are referring to HDD and SSD.)

Open the computer, find the existing drive, and see if you can spot where a second drive fits. See if there is already a power cable and data cable for it. The existing data cable may have an extra connector for the new drive.
I'll probably do that later today. Right now I'm in the mix of learning how to use the upgrade to my photo cataloging software.
 
Mike, if you're nervous about tinkering with the innards of your machine you might want to take it to Microcenter, just down the road a piece at PanAm, and they have techs there who can do it for you, and who also would be able to recommend the right kind of replacement HDD for you and/or look and see if indeed there is space in there for adding a second drive, whether it be HDD or SSD. A few years ago a friend and I took his machine in to them and they were able to fix it right up with whatever was needed.
 
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Mike, if you're nervous about tinkering
I'm always nervous about tinkering but installing an internal hard drive is something I'm willing to put up with if there is sufficient space that my klutz fingers can properly maneuver. Naturally, I wouldn't attempt this without first enlisting active involvement by the Drinking Support Team. :D
 

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